THEME: SAMPLING AND IMAGINING
BREATH PRAYER: LORD, HELP ME SEE WHAT YOU SEE AND IMAGINE WHAT WILL BE.
“For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;
And the government will rest on His shoulders;
And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace,
On the throne of David and over his kingdom,
To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness
From then on and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this.”
- In a journal, note the day, time, and place you’re sitting.
- Open with a few moments of silence. Rest, and breathe deeply.
- Complete the following sentence in your journal: Today, I feel ________________.
- Read the centering verse above slowly (aloud or silently).
Pause for a few moments of silence, then pray this week’s breath prayer.
For a short form of this exercise, follow the prompts in italics.
Read Isaiah 9:2-7 two times, pausing in between readings to let the words soak into your mind and heart. When you have finished reading, take some time to answer the questions below in your journal. Short Form: Spend one minute in silence, then read Isaiah 9:2-7 slowly.
- In verse 2, what is the “darkness” people were walking in? Short Form: Which word or phrase in this passage grabs your attention?
- Isaiah lists out several markers of what God’s kingdom will look like when it arrives in all of its fullness. Using your own words, consider each of these phrases and write out what is “good” about these promises of God’s kingdom:
- V. 4 “You have shattered the yoke that burdens them.”
- V. 5 “Every warrior’s boot used in battle … will be fuel for the fire.”
- V. 6 “The government will be on his shoulders.”
- V. 6 “He will be called Wonderful Counselor”
- V. 6 “Mighty God”
- V. 6 “Everlasting Father”
- V. 6 “Prince of Peace”
- V. 7 “Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end.”
Short Form: Of the promises of God’s kingdom listed in the bullet points above, which do you most desire to see accomplished in all its fullness?
- Consider today’s world in all of its brokenness. Read verses 4-7 again in light of that brokenness. Who might need to see these promises fulfilled in the world around you? Take note in your journal of the thoughts and feelings that come to mind as you consider these promises in our present world. Short Form: Read verses 4-7 again. Is there anything in this passage which does not seem true in the world around you? Whom do you know who needs a “Wonderful Counselor,” a “Mighty God,” an “Everlasting Father,” or a “Prince of Peace”? How might you encourage that person today?
- In your journal, write out a prayer to God thanking Him for the times you have seen Him act in each of these roles: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. Short Form: Ask God to walk with you through the next 24 hours, inviting Him to reveal people and places who need to experience the goodness of His Kingdom.
Summary: Write in your journal a brief summary (five sentences or less) of your practice.
Closing: Lord, help me see what You see and imagine what will be.